Smith Discusses Penn State Commitment

The defensive back from Washington, D.C., reveals when and why he picked the Nittany Lions. Smith was State's first Class of 2013 commit since the program was hit with NCAA sanctions.

As it turns out, defensive back Jordan Smith from Woodson High in Washington D.C., committed to Penn State long before he announced it a few days ago. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound prospect actually told the Nittany Lion coaching staff of his decision July 24, one day after NCAA sanctions were leveled against the program.

Smith would not reveal why he decided to wait so long to let the world know about his decision. But he did admit that staying mum on the topic was not especially difficult.

It wasn't hard to keep quiet about it because I'm a very humble kid,” Smith said. “I don't look for any exposure or publicity, so it wasn't very hard.”

The announcement came late Saturday afternoon after Smith took in a Penn State practice while on an unofficial visit to University Park with his trainer, Roman Morris.

“The thoughts I have are just, wow, it's going to be such a joy to go up there and put on that uniform,” said Smith, adding that he has followed the Lions for a long time because his siblings had friends in the program. “The connection to Penn State was just watching players that my brothers have known, and watching them at Penn State just grew on me.”

The Nittany Lions have a dire need of depth in the secondary, so Smith's ability to play corner and safety is an added boon.

“I'm going to play either corner or safety, but I'm not sure which yet,” he said. “From what I saw, the secondary coach has great schemes in place.”

Another bonus for PSU is that Smith intends to enroll in January, so he won't necessarily count against the 2013 scholarship limits.

“Enrolling early gives me a heads up on the other recruits coming in because I'll be there in January,” Smith said. “And it is going to help me prepare and help the team.”

Helping the Lions as early as possible has special meaning to Smith.

“Penn State is my dream school, so the sanctions don't really impact me. It's where I want to be,” Smith said. “They are a very strong academic institution, and that is one thing that won't change. A degree from there will speak volumes in the job market.

“The coaching staff is tremendous and outstanding, and it's close enough for my family to come up and watch me play,” he added.

FOXSportsNEXT East Coast recruiting analyst Brian Dohn contributed to this report.

Scout Football Top Stories